Card Payment Scams at OPTP and Other Restaurants

News Desk6 months ago
Card Payment Scams at OPTP and Other Restaurants

Same Prices for Cash and Card Payments: A Closer Look

The investigation reveals that customers are charged the same price, irrespective of whether they make payments through cash or digital methods, including credit and debit cards.

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Tax Rates and Price Manipulation

The standard sales tax rate for cash transactions stands at 16%, whereas digital card transactions are taxed at a lower rate of 5%. Despite this, the survey discovered that several outlets are manipulating their base prices for both cash and card payments. This tactic ensures that the final price paid by the customer remains the same, regardless of the differing tax rates. Essentially, customers using digital payment methods end up indirectly paying the higher 16% sales tax rate due to these inflated prices.

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Case Study: OPTP’s Pricing Strategy

A particularly striking example of this practice was observed at OPTP. An examination of two receipts for an identical order – one paid with cash and the other through a digital card – showed a discrepancy. The order paid with a card was priced higher, seemingly to offset the benefit of the lower tax rate.

In defense, an OPTP employee claimed that their billing system generates unbiased receipts based on the chosen payment method, ostensibly ruling out the possibility of overcharging. However, a side-by-side comparison of the receipts tells a different story. They reveal different prices for the same products, depending on whether the payment was made in cash or digitally, with the digital receipt hinting at a possible non-reporting of card transactions to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

Contradicting the Goal of Digital Payment Incentives

This pricing strategy blatantly contradicts the government’s objective behind offering a reduced sales tax on digital payments. The initiative was designed to encourage a cashless economy and pass on tax breaks to consumers. However, it appears that restaurants are exploiting this system to inflate their profits, burdening customers instead.

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Call for Regulatory Action

This issue demands immediate intervention from the FBR and other regulatory bodies. There’s a pressing need for these authorities to ensure that food outlets do not engage in unfair pricing practices, exploiting customers based on their payment method. The goal should be to uphold the spirit of tax incentives for digital payments, guaranteeing that consumers truly benefit from these government initiatives.

Source: Propakistani

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